Dolphins, Poetry and Instrument Failure. 12 40 North 73 02 West

It’s 0043. The moon is almost full and its bright enough on deck to see the
dolphins playing around Aretha. You hear them first and then see them. Our
ocean friends are always welcome any time of day or night. I’ve been sitting
on the side of Aretha with a microphone to record the sound of the waves
sliding alongside us, the dolphins playing and the noise of the wind. All
good relaxing and comforting sound track recordings for when we’re not at

We had our half way party today – we crossed the 600 mile line of the 1200
mile passage. We celebrated by playing bingo with the children which Willow
absolutely loves and finds hilarious. Then freshly baked apricot muffins,
San Pelegrino fizzy lemon drinks and for the kids the movie Monsters Inc.
All good fun stuff at sea.

We’ve loved the responses we’ve had from so many people on the poetry
competition. Every single email has been read and shared with the crew who
counted the scores as went along. Special mention has to go to Caroline West
and Svanfriður for writing their own poems in response to ours. Just

So. The results are in. The new crew have had a particularly good showing …

The far away winner with the Poem “Bunny” was Willow. She was delighted to
be told she had the winning poem and naturally celebrated with Baby Bell
cheese and yoghourt. Her poem was:

Poetry Entry 7 – Bunny

I like cuddling
with my friend Bunny
who is funny
baby bells and yogurt
fill my tummy
I smile and giggle.

In second place, our Wayward Wind stowaway, Mindy with a large hatful of
votes won the the “grown up” prize with Song of the Sea:

Poetry Entry 6 – Song of the Sea

In the light of the half moon
Ocean glistens, I listen
Sounds of the sea capture me
Waves, wind offer magical music
Birds explore, soar, happily in harmony
Ever changing, life at sea nurtures me

Completing the podium places and in joint third place were David with
“Sailing Along” and Galen with “Sailing Blues”.

I think its only fair that we’ll video all four of the podium placed winners
and post the video once we reach Panama. Thank you all so much for playing
everyone – it has been so nice to hear from everyone whilst we’ve been at
sea. [Note – we know that some readers only got the poems after the deadline
closed so if there are any more votes we’ll recount the votes once in Panama
and let you know if there are any surprise movements in the rankings.]

In other news.

We’ve been hand steering today. Later afternoon, our GPS and autopilot
decided to take a break and stop working. We think it’s probably a
connection somewhere that we need to resolve once in Panama. For now, the
autopilot is holding on and the GPS is cutting out every 15 minutes or so.
Thankfully the seas and winds are relatively benign in contrast to when we
last sailed these waters and had some furious seas and 40 knots of wind. Any
expertise or advice on Raymarine electronics gratefully received.

We continue to eat well on board and are preparing for two new crew to join
us in Panama. One returning crew member joining for the Panama transit and
one joining for the passage from Panama to San Francisco.

Have an awesome day everyone,

Team Aretha sailing in Colombian Waters, Out.

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  1. Caspar – check that the GPS antenna on the pushpit rail is still vertical, or that nothing is occluding it. When I had Aretha, the GPS would sometimes cut out (and hence the Autohelm) with merely a crew member sitting on the stern seat with their arm over the antenna.
    Congratulations on your circumnavigation – I’ve ‘watched’ you all the way and pleased that Aretha (apart from all the usual annoying things that happen on a yacht – usually engine related) delivered you all safely.

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